"the handful of dejected sheep that had been put out to graze upon the Oval"
Cricket at the Oval, c.1870
Public DomainCricket at the Oval, c.1870

The Oval is a cricket ground in Lambeth, South London. The land is still owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, the property of the Prince of Wales. In 1845 Surrey County Cricket Club applied to lease the land as a cricket ground; it had previously been a market garden. For many years the grass on the cricket pitch was cropped short by allowing sheep to graze on it. The practice ended when the club introduced horse-drawn lawn mowers.

The first Test match in England was played at the Oval, in 1880, between England and Australia.

 

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